Depeche Mode

People Are People

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Depeche Mode's major league breakthrough in American terms was this single, which looked for a while afterward to have been a random, one-off fluke instead of a precursor to bigger and better things later. Much like "Creep" would be for Radiohead in the '90s, it became both a foot in the State-side door and a mill around the band's collective neck in later years. The fault could be placed at the feet of the amusing yet painfully naive lyrics about war and universal peace and the like, but certainly not because of the music. Showing an ever-increasing range and ability with sampling, arranging, and sonic invention, Depeche collectively combined everything from massive metal strikes and booming drums to quick, stabbing melodies (and even an orchestra hit or two). As the public face of the '80s industrial/dance underground, it couldn't be finer, while Gahan and Gore's trade-off of lyrics sounds lovely. The "different" mix isn't all that much different, perhaps unsurprisingly, but some moments, like the low harmony vocal part that crops up more clearly about three minutes in, are worth hearing here. "In Your Memory" is the flip, very much a cousin of the title track in its upfront, brawling dance groove and sharp, metallic clangs and atmosphere. Interestingly, Gahan's singing is actually much better on this track than on "People Are People" -- less shrill and just sly enough in its calm flow above the mayhem, especially on the chorus. Its own "slick" mix again extends the song without much in the way of overt revamp.

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